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January 1965

Intellectual Life in Jefferson's Virginia

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(1):1-3. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860130003001

WHETHER one measures it in terms of the great statesmen and presidents it produced or by other marks, the Commonwealth of Virginia had a distinguished past which reached its acme some time around 1790. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were pinnacles rising above a high level of performance up through the period whose end may be marked for convenience by the Convention for Reform of the State Constitution which was convened in 1830. No other state has ever seriously challenged Virginia's claim to predominance in this period. Richard Beale Davis considers Thomas Jefferson's greatness in relation to what was representative of the times in which he was educated, arrived at maturity, and achieved his many and great accomplishments. What was the state of learning, of the arts, and the social as well as the intellectual climate of the period? His study, using Jefferson as his benchmark, is an

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